Humber students take IGNITE elections with an engaging attitude

Mar 20, 2024 | Campus News, News

Humber students voted in a new IGNITE Board of Directors.

IGNITE said 7,619 out of 33,199 votes were cast from March 4 to March 8, with 289 abstains, a 22.9 per cent voter turnout.

Melany Palacios-Naranjo, Student Advocate at IGNITE for the University of Guelph-Humber, said she was excited about this year’s elections.

“This is my fifth election. Overall, I think this is a good opportunity for students to have their voices heard and to learn more about the elections process, not just on school and Campus but also in the real world,” Palacios-Naranjo said.

In February, Humber College’s IGNITE student union organized an in-person meeting with all the candidates at the North Campus.

Students at the North Campus expressed different enthusiasm and had important criteria when choosing a candidate for selecting a candidate for the elections.

“I voted for my candidate because I like his opinion,” Kashifa Shahid, a marketing student on the North Campus, said. “For me, his leadership view makes him more outstanding than other candidates.

“I expect the newly elected leader of IGNITE to do more activities and speak up for us first-year students,” Shahid said.

Timothy Larrea, a personal support worker student on the North Campus, voted for Gabriel Sterling based on their interaction.

“I spoke to Gabrielle Sterling the week before reading week in a small event at Humber,” Larrea said. “She seems much more confident and open, making me feel she’s the winner. She’s transparent and ingenious, which are the best qualities suitable for the role.

“I like the elections. It’s orderly. You can talk to the candidates, speak to them, and make your choice,” he said.

“After the final result, I expect positive changes, like making key events. They’re already good, but could be making better,” Larrea said, expecting positive changes in innovative vital events in Humber.

Some students were nonchalant regarding the election process.

“The elections are a good thing because they’re needed,” said Denver Fonseca, an event manager for IGNITE’s elections on the North Campus. You need to know who is elected and who is not. But there is some ignorance. Some students don’t care, and that’s a problem.”

Jason Lui, a mechanical engineering student on the North campus, said he followed his friends to vote for the elections.

“I don’t have a specific intention or criteria for choosing the candidate,” Lui said. “I don’t think much about their potential to change any aspects after being elected.”

Fonseca said more than three-fourths of students who came to vote cared about the elections.

“Students are more motivated by the free snacks and stuff in the election process. So they got a free snack and kept the vote, or else they wouldn’t have kept voting,” Fonseca said. “Some of the students don’t care about the candidate. They just closed their eyes and voted randomly.”

Palacios-Naranjo said treats offered during the voting period were in part because everyone is busy with exams and might need them.

“During this time of year, everyone is so busy with exams and midterms that sometimes they just need a quick treat.” Palacios-Naranjo said. “We have a really good mix between the number of students coming here for the snack and voting.

“On the Lakeshore Campus, more students are engaged in the elections. They want to know more about the elections,” Palacios-Naranjo said.

“But on the North Campus, because there’s so much going on, there’re (are) more students coming for the snacks,” she said.

“The most important thing this year was telling students what the event was and how they could participate,” Palacios-Naranjo said. “Many students are focused on their lives and don’t notice what’s happening around them. But when you go to them and talk to them, they are interested in finding out more about what’s going on.”

The three new directors elected at Humber North campus 2024-2025 are Gabrielle Sterling, Jack Pickett and Yash Patel, who were elected with 1,040, 624, and 554 votes respectively.

Onoriode Francis Osifo, Harleen Lamba and Kartavya Patel were elected at the Humber Lakeshore campus. Osifo received 992 votes, Lamba 701, and Patel got 365 votes.

Sesha Sankrarasubramanian has been elected as the director of the IGS Campus with 395 votes.

Ana Downes, Zeynep Oz and Michael Tahir have been elected directors at the University of Guelph-Humber with 218, 196 and 188 votes respectively.